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Dark Shadows: The Beginning Collection 2

4.8 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

With its alluring tales of Gothic mystery and supernatural intrigue, DARK SHADOWS became one of the most popular daytime series of all time. Since first airing on ABC-TV from 1966-71, DARK SHADOWS has earned the reputation as being one of the most unusual and enduring programs in broadcasting history. The character of Barnabas Collins, a guilt-ridden, 175-year-old vampire, brought the show tremendous success.

Now, for the first time on DVD, MPI presents the spooky series' rare, early episodes before the arrival of Barnabas.

Collinwood's surly caretaker Mathew Morgan informs Victoria Winters that he believes the ghost of Josette Collins and other spirits inhabit the estate. In an attempt to settle the controversy surrounding the manslaughter case that sent Burke Devlin to prison, Collins Fishing Fleet Manager Bill Malloy sets up a private meeting for himself, Roger Collins, Same Evans and Burke.

Elizabeth Collins Stoddard confides to Victoria some of the legends involving Collinwood and Widow s Hill. Carolyn Stoddard and Victoria spot a body floating at the bottom of the cliff and Victoria soon experiences a strange premonition. After Malloy mysteriously disappears, Roger nervously bribes Sam to leave town. A ghost emerges from the Old House on the Collins family property.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Joan Bennett
  • Format: Box set, Black & White, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: MPI HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: October 30, 2007
  • Run Time: 690 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000TGJ880
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,762 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Dark Shadows: The Beginning Collection 2" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. Hornaday on July 14, 2007
Format: DVD
Following it's landmark premier in 1966, the first-ever gothic soap opera, Dark Shadows, settled into its afternoon timeslot to haunt viewers with is unique blend of romance and terror. Unfortunately, viewership dwindled steadily, despite excellent stories and equally fine acting, which are clearly demonstrated in this latest boxed set of remastered DVD episodes from MPI Home Video.

The Beginning Set 1, reflecting the first 35 episodes of the series, introduced the characters and eerie atmosphere created by innovative sets and unforgettable original music that was the hallmark of the show for its five-year run.

The Beginning Set 2, which collects the next 35 episodes, builds on that foundation by further developing the main characters and adding some new ones.

Burke Devlin, portrayed with animation and realism by Mitchell Ryan, has returned to Collinsport a rich man after being away for 10 years. He spent the first five years in prison after being convicted in Collinsport of manslaugter. He had spent the succeeeding years years abroad amassing his fortune before returning, embittered and angry, to his hometown.

In these episodes, Burke begins to unravel the truth behind the crime for which he was falsely convicted, and strategizes to take over the Collins Family's vast financial holdings, including the family estate of Collinwood.

Victoria Winters, played to perfection by Alexandra Moltke, finds herself drawn to Burke, then embroiled in a bitter feud with Carolyn Stoddard, portrayed by the incredible Nancy Barrett, who inexplicably decides she no longer wants her steady but "boring" boyfriend, Joe Haskell, but would rather try to seduce the volatile Burke.
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Format: DVD
Dark Shadows became fodder for my pre-teen imagination enough to be one of the kids who ran home after school, out of breath to sit on the edge of the couch and watch every second of eerie goings on at the Collinwood mansion....evil abound with ghosts, werewolves, phoenixes, zombies....a schoolage boys delight. The show had centered its story by then around a sympathetic figure in the guise of one 175 year old vampire Barnabas Collins and the misadventures of his dysfunctional wealthy family.

The Beginning Collection 2 continues the early pre-Barnabas Gothic storyline of governess Victoria Winters trying to find out HER beginnings and family origins after she has accepted a position as governess to the strange and rather disturbed 10 year old David Collins. Victoria (quite ably played by Alexander Moltke) is a perfect femme fatale mix of Jane Eyre and Nancy Drew desperately trying to uncover the mystery of her parentage for she was an orphan growing up in New York who all her life receiving a stipend of money mysteriously from Bangor, Maine not 50 miles from Collinsport where she is summoned out of the blue to become a governess and companion at the Collins Estate/Collinwood....little does she know the mysteries and dangers that await her around every corner of the haunted 40 room mansion....the story continues for another 35 black and white episodes.....Matt Morgan, Collinswood's surly caretaker warns Vicki to mind her own business and tells her tales of ghosts that haunt the spooky mansion such as Josette Collins, wife of an early settler. Bill Malloy, manager of the Collins Fishing Fleet tries to force a meeting between Roger Collins and Burke Devlin to resolve the manslaughter case that wrongfully convicted Burke to years in prison, but this has its own dire consequences....
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Both Volumes 1 and 2 of the dvd set Dark Shadows: The Beginning are superlative. Why the "prelude to Barnabas' appearance" was omitted for release for so long, and thought of as BORING by reviewers, is beyond me - there are over 200 episodes to catch up with prior to the vampire's story, and so far we only have 70 of those episodes available.

I was immediately engrossed. The ambience of the perpetually overcast late afternoon, evening, or night-time lighting of the house perfectly set the mood for this gothic classic. This had to have been the classiest daytime drama ever in the history of televised soap operas. For forty years, denied by my parents to ever even glimpse a segment of Dark Shadows, I had longed to see the very program I had been forbidden to watch as an impressionable, easily frightened kindergartner - and now I realize why! The deliberate pacing of the story; the snobby, reserved Collins family with their grim secrets; the haughty interchanges as Liz and Roger sip their sherry and bicker over how to handle despised little David or the snoopy governess Vicki only broach the eerie tangle of situations as the plot slips more and more compellingly toward the supernatural. Finally - a middle aged woman with her husband in the next room! - I was honestly as much frightened as thrilled when I watched as Josette's ghost crept out of her portrait in the Old House. What a delicious way to wrap up Part 2 of this set, and how eager I am to have 3 and 4 become available as soon as possible! I hope they hurry with releasing those volumes which catch up to 211, the first of the Barnabas episodes. Audiences need more than just an explanatory preamble about Vicki, Maggie, Burke, Willie, and the Collins family. I rate this and Vol. 1 of the Beginning most highly.
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